Sotheby's Just Sold A Bunch Of Ape NFTs For $24.4 Million

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Sep 09, 2021 - 03:49 PM

After a frenzied burst higher in NFT activity at the end of August captured by the OpenSea platform which has rapidly emerged as the premier NFT marketplace in the world, and which saw some ridiculous prices shelled out for blockchained certificates of jpgs, a rapid activity reversal emerged shortly thereafter sending activity sliding almost as fast as it had risen, prompting many to wonder if the NFT bubble had burst for the second time (the first being its initial arrival in the first quarter when NFTs took the world by storm only to fade away) and hammering the price of ethereum.

Turns out that was not the case, not even close according to the latest news out of auction house Sotheby's which reported this morning that a bundle of 101 NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club just sold at Sotheby’s for $24.4 million. A second bundle of 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs sold for $1.8 million. The Verge first reported the insane transaction, which many have speculated is nothing more than money laundering by bored Ethereum holders.

That auction puts the ape sale among the biggest in the NFT space. A bundle of nine CryptoPunks, one of the earliest NFT projects, sold for $16.9 million in May. And Beeple sold a collage of his works as an NFT for $69 million in March when the NFT craze was just getting started.

While it’s hard to directly compare all of these sales (there are 101 items in today’s auctions versus one in Beeple’s), the purchases show that the appetite for NFT art isn’t dying down, and they suggest that buyers think there’ll be high resale value as the market continues to grow. It is also supportive of Ethereum prices which has lagged in recent days even as Solana, dubbed the "Ethereum killer" has soared.

The two sales at Sotheby’s today come from Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, which launched in April. The initial collection contained 10,000 apes, semi-randomly generated in unique arrangements of sailor hats, eye patches, bone necklaces, stud earrings, and other accessories to dress them up. Ape owners get to be members of the titular club, which is supposed to provide various benefits (so far, that’s mostly been access to exclusive merch drops, bonus NFTs, and use of an online graffiti board). Bored Ape Kennel Club is a series of accompanying dog NFTs that were later sent out to ape owners.

Generative NFT collections like this have taken off in recent months, with all kinds of copycats and twists launching to take advantage of the hype. After its debut, BAYC quickly become the second-biggest name in NFT collections, right behind CryptoPunks. The cheapest ape now sells for around $149,000.

Meanwhile, as the Verge notes, centuries-old auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have seen the (literal) value in promoting this new format for art and have hosted a number of sales for high-profile NFTs for obvious reasons: a 10% commission on a $24 million auction is still a 10% commission. . An auction at Christie’s will feature BAYC later this month.